Luton airport strike to cause disruption, warns union

Passengers at Luton airport face delays and disruption because of strike action today, trade union Unite has warned.

The action, taking place on Wednesday (August 30), involves workers from three companies.

Unite said the most severe disruption is set to be caused by a walkout of ground handlers at GH London, which is responsible for Wizz Air’s ground handling.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham described delays and disruption as “inevitable”, adding: “The strike action being taken is a direct result of the companies concerned failing to treat staff fairly and decently.”

At 9.07am on the day of action, a spokesperson for the airport said “robust contingency plans” were in place. ”We’re not seeing any disruption at this time,” the spokesperson added.

A picket line will be in place between 6am and noon at Airport Way Roundabout, Unite said.

More than 100 workers are taking action against GH London because of a series of employment issues and allegations, said Unite. Further walkouts are planned for September 6 and 13.

Unite said talks through conciliation service Acas had failed to resolve the dispute.

Meanwhile, dirty toilets and an “unkempt airport” can be expected because of strike action by workers employed by Saase Limited. Unite said the cleaning workers, who are paid £10.90 an hour, have rejected a below-inflation pay rise.

Car park workers employed by Apcoa will be on strike too, said Unite, because they have also been offered a below-inflation pay increase.

Delays will be encountered by passengers and staff who use the car parks and terminal, with striking workers including valet parking staff as well as bus drivers who take passengers and staff from car parks to the terminal.

Graham said: “Unite’s focus on workers’ jobs, pay and conditions means there is no way we will accept our members being mistreated or underpaid.”

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “Unite has given all three companies every opportunity to resolve these disputes through negotiations but they all refused to make proposals which met our members’ expectations.”

An Apcoa spokesperson said: “Apcoa is working to resolve the pay dispute with Unite, but robust contingency planning has maintained parking services without disruption over the bank holiday weekend and we continue to provide excellent service to the airport and passengers.”

Travel Weekly has contacted GH London for comment.

Photo: Craig Hastings/Shutterstock

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